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The Darkest Hour by [Erskine, Barbara]
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The Darkest Hour Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 684 customer reviews

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Product Description


Praise for Barbara Erskine:

‘Her forte is mood, atmosphere and the toe-curling frisson’ Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times

‘Barbara Erskine’s storytelling talent is undeniable’ The Times‘

‘Marvellous escapist stuff’ Woman and Home

About the Author

A historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of thirteen bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus three collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty-six languages. Her first novel, Lady of Hay, has sold over three million copies worldwide. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2414 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 684 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,321 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I haven't read Barbara Erskine for a long time, not since 'Lady of Hay', and I'm happy to say I enjoyed 'The Darkest Hour' and found it a very good read.

Lead character, Lucy, is recently widowed when she suddenly receives news that some money is coming her way. It's money she uses to fund research into the life and times of war artist Evie Lucas. Lucy is keen to produce a biography and so off she goes in search of the mysterious Ms. Lucas. There are reasons Lucy's intrigued by the artist that link back to her late husband but; I'm not leaving spoilers and I'm not telling you what those reasons are!.

The clever thing about stories that use genealogy is how much leverage that gives the author. There can be so many skeletons in a family cupboard and Barbara Erskine takes that idea just about as far as possible without it becoming unbelievable. We have Evie's grandson, Michael, who seems reluctant at first but then perhaps a little too keen to help. Why?. It's here the supernatural angles begin and ghosts suddenly march through the plot adding a little of their own story to fill in Evie's background history and add more and more intrigue, plus some darkness, to Lucy's research. Why do people seem so reluctant to help only to then change their minds?.

The World War II scenery is nicely evoked and the life and times of the people, how they act differently during conflict, nicely handled.

Barbara Erskine mixes her supernatural events with family research to tell the tale of a love story from the past and contrasts it against the dreadful grief threatening to overshadow Lucy. That's the joy of the novel. There's so much shadow and shade, so many strands reaching out only to be drawn together in a way that's thoroughly entertaining and believable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have loved all of Barbara Erskine's books and this latest edition is no exception. An enigmatic artist who wished to capture the lives of the airman who valiantly fought against overwhelming odds through the Battle of Britain. A young woman whose talent captured the human side of war on her canvas. Evie's life is far from simple, juggling her painting with the hard work of keeping the family farm working through the hardships of the Second World War. Falling in love with a young Pilot Officer, manipulated by the shadowy son of neighbours whose vengeful spirit will continue to affect the family members in the future. From the 1940's to current times the characters lives, loves & heartaches seep into your sole. Even after death her beloved brother tries to put right a wrong which he was unable to prevent because of his untimely death in the skies above Sussex, when the few gave so much for the many. A spectoral battle with the manipulative man who controlled his sister over much of her adult life. The dedicated biographer who in striving for the truth stirs up the ghosts of the past and finds it hard to come to terms with her own loss in the present. Hard to put down I was so engaged with the story that I finished it in two days. Don't miss this book if you do you just might regret it.....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant read. I think this is one of my favourite books by the author. I was engaged with the story and characters from the first page through to the end. Definitely a book I will read again and again. The story is set in the present day and 1940s southern England during the Battle of Britain; the author's father was in the RAF and I think this personal research shines through in how comfortable she is with her subject matter and how smoothly the story builds towards the confrontation at the end. The author deals well with the jealousy and misunderstandings that occur, and shows how precious are those support characters we all need in our lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Most established authors stick to a successful formula once they've found it - and why wouldn't they? - but with Barbara Erskine it's more of a cast iron template.
This tale of widow Lucy, who takes on more than she bargains for when writing the biography of mysterious war artist Evie, follows the pattern exactly: a fragile, plucky and beautiful Mary Sue heroine, at a turning point in her life, is sucked into a mystery and has to grapple with the forces of good and evil in past and present. A handy and handsome hero and a supporting cast of also-rans are happy to rush to her aid at the drop of a hat (not many people are hampered by 9 to 5 jobs in these stories), until the ghosts of the past are (literally) exorcised.
There are plenty of five star reviews for this book, so I'm guessing that most fans weren't disappointed at getting more of the same. Both plot and characters are paper-thin in places, but there's enough suspense to keep you turning the page, with a couple of neat twists towards the end. You might get a bit short-tempered with our droopy heroines in both the modern and wartime sections, and wonder why no-one thinks to consult a solicitor, call the police or even have a proper conversation for so many pages. You might think these particular ghosts and baddies are just a little bit on the daft side. But it makes no claims to be anything other than undemanding escapism, and there are plenty of readers like me who are happy to give the author of Lady of Hay yet another chance.
Just two observations: another terrible cover - were there many Battle of Britain pilots with designer stubble and a haircut like that? And it's a shame that the photographs of the author's father, a real-life fighter pilot, that are included at the end are so poorly reproduced as to be indecipherable.
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